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Before making a request

Please remember to check iDiscover and other card catalogues before submitting the request to ensure as best you can that the item you require is not already available in Cambridge University.

Some points to note:

  • Contact details: Please supply your full postal address and e-mail, as we use a system independent from the Library's circulation system.
  • Consultation: All loaned items on Inter-Library Loan are for reference use in the Reading Room only (home reading is not permitted).
  • Multi-volume sets: You can submit all these on one request fom but please state clearly which volumes you require.
  • Journal articles: By law you may only request one article from any single journal issue. If you require more than one article please request the whole issue for loan, or speak to the ILL staff about obtaining "copyright fee paid" items from the British Library Document Supply Centre.
  • Secure Electronic Delivery (SED): If you require either a journal article or a copy of a chapter from a book, and the British Library holds the item, it may be possible to receive this via secure electronic delivery. See our Secure Electronic Delivery page for more information.
  • British Ph.D. Theses: Ph.D. theses submitted at almost 100 UK universities are obtainable from EThOS, a service set up to provide electronic access to all theses from participating institutions whether submitted as hardcopy or electronically. Over 250,000 theses are already available through EThOS.
  • Non-Roman script: Since this cannot be keyed for electronic transmission, please transliterate the request.
  • Latest Acceptable Date: All requests are treated with equal urgency, but if there is a time after which the item will no longer be of use then please let us know.
  • Incomplete forms: Lack of complete information can result in a delay of requested material.
  • Renewals: Please contact ILL staff if you wish to renew an item. (

Submitting an Inter-Library Loan Request


Access the Online Inter-Library Loan Form.

Important Note - Junk Mail Safe List

Emails with links or attachments, such as those sent by the Inter-Library Loans Department to inform you of an arrival or the British Library when supplying documents electronically, may be filtered by various email clients and service providers. It is therefore important to regularly check your junk mail folder or add the following addresses to your email "Safe List" in the junk mail settings: